Arriving at the parking lot for the Nordic Centre around 10 am, we were surprised to see how busy it was. We speculated that the combination of fires in the interior and the number of closed Island trails created an above average number of visitors to the park this year.
The day turned out much better than we’d expected. It was raining on the
drive up, but we just had some light mist on the hike, and by the end of it,
the sun actually came out. Although the views weren’t there (couldn’t see
Cruikshank Canyon at all!), the fall colours were wonderful, and the many
mushrooms were dazzling. A lovely seven hour jaunt around Paradise!
Early fall is often the nicest time for hiking. I often joke with my hiking companions about those who don’t take advantage of the outdoors, they find winter too cold, spring too wet, and summer too hot. There are three ideal weeks in our Vancouver Island year that are perfect for heading outdoors, when spring is converting to summer and summer converting to fall, there are about 9 days at each change that are perfect for hiking! This past weekend must have been that weekend!
Total Horizontal Distance: 21.3 km
Total Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
Elevation Gain: 873 m
Starting Elevation: 1060 m
Max Elevation: 1269 m